Orange County Favorites
I'll be dog/housesitting at my parents for a couple of weeks starting later this month. Any recommendations on great food that's on the cheaper side? Any type of food is fine - Mexican, Italian, sushi, burgers, etc... Preferably in the Irvine/Tustin/Orange area, but willing to go farther for great food! Thanks in advance for your recommendations!
(1) If you're in the mood for bbq ribs or chicken, I suggest Johnny Rebs on Chapman. I like the St. Louis ribs and sweet potato fries.
(2) John's Place is a great little drive-thru or sit down place in Orange on Chapman at Jamboree in the strip center hosted by Albertson's market. It's in the northwest corner by the center entrance from Chapman Ave. Breakfast, lunch or dinner. All good.
8400 E Chapman Ave
Orange, CA 92869-2457
re: kc girl
Concur on Johnny Reb's, though I like the Southern home cooking better than the barbecue -- for example, chicken-fried steak or catfish, hush puppies and greens.
Also in Orange, though admittedly pretty far out there, is Da Bianca, a nice little Italian trattoria. Way out by Santiago Canyon College on Chapman, near the 241/261 toll roads.
Taco Mesa is on Chapman in a small strip center and Taco Rosa is on Jamboree at the Marketplace. Same owner and recipes, but choices may differ. Very fresh and healthy. Taco Mesa is a to-go order, but sit down and less expenive than Taco Rosa.
have a look at the menus at their link.
It's not my area of town but:
1. Papa Hassan's just north of Chapman University. Little hole in the wall with Great food. I've been eating there for 20 years. Ask for the Foul Madamas. Not on the menu, but it's great.
2. Zov's Bistro- get the Muhamara. Best I've ever had.
3. Caspian: great Persian food off of Culver and the 5 freeway. Get the Sabzi and the Feesenjan (spelling?)
Greek Island Grille is my favorite "everyday" restaurant in southern CA. It's family run, very inexpensive, and serves delicious, fresh, large portions of Greek food that always leaves me satisfied. Every time. It's right across from South Coast Plaza on the corner of Sunflower and Bristol.
Good cheap eats, my specialty
Tustin / Santa Ana area around the 55.
Malibu Fish Grill - inexpensive and high quality fish served as plates, salads, sandwiches and tacos. On 4th
Ono Ono Hawaiian BBQ on 17th. Awesome Polynesian/Korean food. Try the cold macadamian noodles Yum. It's on 17th. In that same area is the Crab Cooker and Zov's Bistro, a bit more expensive, but worth it.
In Tustin on 1st, Pina's Italian. It's in a strip mall but the restaurant is high end. Delicious food, but I think kind of pricey. ($15.00 for spaghetti and another $5 if you want a meatball). Further down 1st heading into Tustin is Naan & Kabob. Quality Persian, the name says it all. Also down 1st is The Sandwich Box. Creative sandwich like the Southern that's made with ham, swiss cheese and fried green tomatoes.
On Main in Old Town Tustin is Rutabegorz. It's a fun restaurant with good salads, wraps, pasta, sandwiches and bakery. Also in that area on El Camino Real is Beach Pit BBQ. They have great brisket and sweet potato fries. Same street is Honda Ya for yakatori and sushi - but not so cheap. Still on that same street at the end in the same parking lot as Curtain Call Theatre is Long Hai for Vietnamese. There is also a real divey bar in that lot. I forget the name but we had a geat time there.
If you want to head into Santa Ana, you'll find some wonder Mexican food choices.You'll get lots of recommendations. Here's one you can try. On 1st and Grand is Pena's Mexican. They offer cochinta pibil which is not common on most menus. Further down 1st towards Harbor is Siam Taste of Asia. Wonderful Thai and I would highly recommend the fried tofu. It's addictive.
If you want to drive a bit, you can head west to either Little Seoul on Garden Grove Blvd. around Brookhurst or Little Saigon, again at Brookhurst in Westminster. You can't miss it. :-) I don't go to Little Seoul too often, but I love grocery shopping in Little Saigon. The abundance of seafood is amazing and the prices are incredibly cheap.
Enjoy your stay!
Malibu Fish Grill has been about 3 years or so. It actually backs up to the 55 and I think you can see the sign from the freeway. I know, Pina's food is so good and she is a lovely hostess, but for me it's a bit expensive.
You're so lucky to have many good choices close to you. I had mentioned the Curtain Call Theatre. It's a dinner theater and while not hound food, it's surprisingly good for the type of venue it is and the plays are really entertaining. Might be worth checking out.
Champagne Sunday Brunch is amazing at Taps in Brea. Great food, wonderful service, and housemade microbrews are available if you don't want champagne. Normal service is just as delicious...I love all of their seafood dishes...drunken mahi mahi and Chielan sea bass are particularly impressive!
Taps Fish House & Brewery
101 E. Imperial Hwy., Brea, CA 92821
Best Cheap Eats in O.C.
Indian: The Rupee Room in Orange-Great $6.99 Lunch Buffet
Dosa Palace in Tustin
Mexican: El Gallo Giro in Santa Ana-The best Tortas in O.C.
El Gran Jenal in Costa Mesa-The real thing, my friend
Italian: Di Simone Bakery in Huntington Beach- Good as Italian Sandwiches get
Cortina's in Anaheim
Asian Buffet: West Coast Seafood in Huntington Beach- Huge array of well-made
Chinese and Korean dishes. The sushi ain't bad either.
Chinese Sam Woos in Irvine-Hong Kong Style
Wong's in Westminster-Old School Cantonese
Breakfast: Harbor House in Sunset Beach
Burgers: The Counter in Irvine. A bit pricey, but well worth it for quality and innovation
California Fish Grill - Irvine
Fukada - Irvine, japanese soba and udon combos with rice bowls for good price
India Cook House - Irvine, Lunch buffet 7 days a week for $9
Veggie Grill - 2 locations in Irvine
Naan and Kebab - Tustin
Scottie's Smokehouse - Orange, reasonably priced bbq
Santouka - Costa Mesa ramen
Anything Vietnamese - Westminster/Garden Grove, just search for Little Saigon
Two of my favorite eateries from when I went to UCI are on this list-Fukada and the Veggie Grill. Don't be concerned about the latter being a vegetarian spot, it's terrific. Their sweet potato fries are delish. Sidestreet Cafe in Costa Mesa is another place I would recommend-good, hearty breakfasts and lunches at a great price